Royalty and statesmen

Children are traditionally the focus of the May 17 festivities, which feature processions in traditional dress, games and barbecues. Sverre, three, and Ingrid, five, seemed to be particularly enjoying themselves
Photo: Rex
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The royal family, including their elder brother, 12-year-old Marius, greeted well-wishers outside their home on the outskirts of Oslo
Photo: Rex

Young Norwegian royals celebrate National Day in traditional dress

18 MAY 2009
The younger members of the Norwegian royal family were gripped by the party mood as the country celebrated its National Day on Sunday.

Proudly waving flags Prince Sverre and his sister Ingrid, the country's future queen, were brimming with excitement at the chance to don traditional costume.

They joined their parents, Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Mette-Marit, in greeting well-wishers outside the royal residence in Asker, on the outskirts of Oslo.

Also part of the happy family group was their elder brother Marius, Mette-Marit's son from a previous relationship.

Wearing the traditional dress known as bunad has become increasingly popular for the Syttende Mai or May 17 holiday, which marks the day in 1814 when Norway gained independence from a 500-year union with Denmark.

Children's processions are one of the highlights of the day and it's also the occasion for high school leavers to celebrate the end of their school days by parading on floats bearing slogans and playing loud music.

Afterwards revellers, both young and not so young, enjoy games, film screenings and barbecues.

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